Psoriasis is a skin condition that is characterized by raised and scaly red patches on the skin surface. It is usually caused due to the malfunctioning of the immune system. It commonly strikes the scalp, elbows, knees, and back. It may also affect legs, trunk, fingers or the armpits. In case it is left untreated for a long period, it might lead to extreme hair loss. A hair transplant is the only solution left in such a case. Hair transplant surgery is carried out by transferring hair grafts from the donor site to the recipient site.
Scalp psoriasis symptoms
Symptoms of scalp psoriasis include:
- dandruff-like flaking
- Dryness of the skin
- the appearance of silver-colored scales
- itching, burning sensation, and discomfort in the scalp area
- the appearance of raised and reddish patches
- bleeding or temporary hair loss due to scratching or removing the plaques on the scalp
Treatment of scalp psoriasis
The treatment will include going to a dermatologist for getting the condition diagnosed and getting it treated. Topical corticosteroid medication is the most common method of treatment. Some other medications like vitamin D, coal tar shampoo, retinoids, and anthralin can also be used.
Usual topical medications may be difficult to use due to the presence of hair on the scalp. Therefore the dermatologist may prescribe lotions, gels, foams, liquids, or sprays instead. A combination of more than one topical medication may be used during the treatment. Salicylates are known to be excellent for removing plaques. In case the topical treatment isn’t effective, other treatments like phototherapy, biologic injections, or oral medications may be used.
How to tackle psoriasis by self-care
Dandruff-As Scalp psoriasis dandruff is different from common dandruff, they need a different treatment. The large and silvery scales must be removed carefully without scratching or picking.
Combing and brushing- Combing or brushing can be difficult with scalp psoriasis because it may irritate your scalp. Using the comb gently to remove scales and cleaning it before each use will reduce the chances of infection.
What are the complications related to psoriasis?
Scalp psoriasis causes the following complications:
Bleeding– Scalp psoriasis can lead to irritation and itching. If one tries to remove the scales by scratching, bleeding may occur.
Hair loss– The condition affects the hair follicles and causes scaling and excessive scratching which often leads to major hair loss. It may even result in entire clumps of hair coming out of the scalp. Some scalp psoriasis treatments may trigger more hair loss.